Not Hero Worship, But Intimacy With Christ
“Not hero worship, but intimacy with Christ.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
Today marks the seventy year anniversary of the death of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was a German pastor and theologian whose most famous work, The Cost of Discipleship, was written during the rise of the Nazi party in Germany. He lived out the themes of this work in part by becoming an active and vocal critic of the Nazi regime. He died by execution at a concentration camp just two weeks before it was liberated and three weeks before Hitler’s suicide.
This highlighted quote provides much to think about as we plan and practice worship. Bonhoeffer simply yet so clearly emphasizes that we cannot forget the type of relationship to which Christ invites us–one of intimacy.
So how do we both respect the divinity and uniqueness of Christ while preserving the connection we have with him? Do the songs we sing give us the posture and perspective of fans or followers? Do the sermons we preach frame Jesus as an idol to be observed from afar, or do they draw us close to the living Lord who calls us friend?